Sunday, November 24, 2019

November 17th: Seton Hall at Saint Joseph's (at Fordham)

Just the Facts, Ma'am: In a low-scoring affair, Seton Hall prevailed over Saint Joseph's, 55-39. Desiree Elmore had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead the Pirates. No Hawk cracked double figures in scoring, with Claire Melia's seven leading the way.

For unaccustomed seating arrangements, terrible shooting, some height issues, and details lost to the fo of time, join your intrepid blogger after the jump.

Good afternoon, fellow travelers! We come to you from an unaccustomed spot at Rose Hill Gymnasium, as Seton Hall plays St. Joseph's in an A-10/Big East double-header. Since St. Joe's is an A-10 team, they have been extended the courtesy of the home bench, which means we, as Seton Hall fans, are behind the road bench. It's weird. I don't think I like it.

I do, however, want that Mad Magazine jacket one of the Fordham staffers is rocking. I want it very much.

Seton Hall is short-handed today; in addition to the players already injured, Shadeen Samuels tweaked her hamstring in their last game, and is in sweats. This is another thing I'm not thrilled with.

15-10 SHU end Q1, but it should be more. We're missing shots we should be hitting.

37-22 SHU at halftime, thanks to a deep three from Alexis Lewis at the buzzer and St. Joe's forgetting how time works. They went into their offense way too early with 27 seconds left in the half, ceding last shot to Seton Hall. Now, I'm not exactly thrilled with the way SHU ran that possession either- I thought Lauren Park-Lane ran too much time off the clock and Lexi was forced to take that shot too deep, but in this case, it worked.

Fordham is not running stats for this game, so I must rely on my trusty clipboard. It tells me that Lauren Park-Lane is leading the pirates with 10 points, while Claire Melia's six off the bench are a team high for the Hawks.

St. Joe's has size, but not finesse. They're not finishing at the rim, and they don't seem to have outside shooting to complement their bigs.

Yes, the Hawk traveled. Yes, she's flapping her wings. Yes, I know she's female because it was in their game notes. (Said game notes also felt the need to clarify that it's Saint Joseph's or St. Joe's, but you can't abbreviate only one part. I'm now tempted to refer to them as St. Joseph's the entire time, because I'm that kind of petty.)

You know a ref has done a lot of MAAC games when Alexis Lewis commits a foul and the signal goes up as 20. (Lexi wears 10 at SHU, but she wore 20 at Iona.)

Starting lineup shenanigans: so we see the lineup tweeted out as Barbara Johnson, Lauren Park-Lane, Mya Jackson, Alexis Lewis, and Whitney Howell. Everything goes as expected until the last player, at which point Barb gets off the bench and the PA guy announces Desiree Elmore. There is a small discussion among Coach Bozzella and the officials, after which Barb is called back to the bench and Des takes the floor. Since Barb proceeded to come in for Whit about a minute in, it became moot.

45-33 SHU end Q3. The refs seem to think we missed hearing from them.

It's final here at Rose Hill, 55-39 Seton Hall, in a game that probably featured terrible shooting percentages. There were certainly lots of rebound opportunities.

I see why Cindy Griffin is happy with her young posts. They still need some work, especially Gabby Smalls, whose shooting form is... uh... not good, and I say this as someone who loves her some post players with dubious shooting mechanics. She had success with spins and lay-ups, and she thinks she has a hook shot, but her jumper is not there right now. Claire Melia got off to a strong start for the Hawks, which I think is why she started the second half. She's got good touch inside and out and pretty good range and power. She's got to be better with her footwork, but as a freshman, she's starting off with a good toolbox. Katie Mayock started the game and moved to the bench for the second half. She's got size, and she sets good screens, but her teammates need to be better at using them.

On the other hand, their guards are a work in progress. Devyne Newman got run in both halves, second more than the first, I think. She and Lauren Ross did not impress terribly much.

I liked Mary Sheehan's hustle- she notched a couple of blocks and some good loose ball recoveries. Nailah Delinois used her bulk to push defenders around and get into the paint. Katie Jekot drove the lane and couldn't hit. Lula Roig got into foul trouble which took her out of rhythm and never allowed her to get started. I think that helped us get on top of them early and stay on top. There was a definite lack of discipline with St. Joe's that got them rung up for charges on a regular basis, usually at the most inconvenient times.

I love Selena Philoxy dearly, but one of these days you're going to find me in a corner with concussion symptoms and heavy bruising on my forehead, and this will be because I have facepalmed at her too hard. I love her energy. I love her hustle. I love when she's able to safely bring the ball in to her teammates. But she commits a ridiculous number of fouls and half the time when she grabs the ball on the glass she ends up tipping it out of bounds instead. Jasmine Smith extended the offense, but unsuccessfully. Victoria Keenan will get her basket someday. Alexia Allesch is tall. I think I'd like to see more of Kailah Harris to see if she can produce.

Come to think of it, I might just have rolled with Whitney Howell as a starter and seen what she could do against the Hawks' posts. In the worst case scenario, you'd bench her and proceed with the plan Seton Hall eventually went with. She managed a couple of rebounds in her brief minutes. Barbara Johnson got physical and got tough. She set up Desiree Elmore on a play beautifully. Des had herself a day. She plays so much longer than her height. I don't know if it's vertical or long arms or what, but she gets way more rebounds than it seems she should.

I love Alexis Lewis, but sometimes I forget just how streaky she can be, and how determined she is to live by the adage that "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take". When she's on, she's a one-woman wrecking crew, but when she's off, she just keeps on going. She was off in this one, and it was painful to watch. Mya Jackson had a nifty steal that she turned into a fast break lay-up. Lauren Park-Lane's passing vision continues to amaze me for her age. I know she's from Delaware, but if you told me she was kin to either Didi or Daisha Simmons, I would absolutely believe it. I know those are names one does not bandy about lightly at Seton Hall.

This was an offensively challenged game, to say the least, perhaps even in honor of our hosts. It's hard to find a lot to say about it, especially at this point. Our execution needs to be better, but at least our defense did enough to keep St. Joe's from scoring. We also need reliable size, because Alexis Lewis, Center At Not Particularly Large, does not spark joy. Yes, I know Shadeen Samuels was out, and that does terrible things to our post play, but we still need some height.

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